Last month marked a milestone for Mountain Bike Tales as we clandestinely celebrated our fifth year in existence. Has it really been half a decade since my cousin Mike Genovese and I decided to form an online community for like-minded individuals over coffee at our favorite restaurant?I suppose the numbers donít lie even if it does feel like only yesterday.

Nobody likes to read sappy retrospective pieces where the writer waxes poetic about all the moments that made the time so special so Iíll be brief.MBT has gone through quite a few changes throughout these past five years beginning humbly with two fools attempting to master Microsoft Frontpage and a buddy in Australia with a knack for designing cool logos.Donít take my word for it; those sorry early pages are still accessible deep within our archives!

Some insist our greatest work was the era that followed where Rob Manning took the helm as far as the web-mastering was concerned and itís tough to argue that those days were a lot of fun, work, or both perhaps.

We made the transition from monthly to seasonal back to monthly then to bi-monthly (where we still stand). We partnered up with MTBR.com to provide commentaries and product reviews, had a piece or two published in mags like BIKE and Dirt Rag and even got international attention when one of our earliest contributors (Verdra H. Ciretop) wrote a spoof-column that somehow got picked up by bloggers as fact and spread like wildfire.We knew it had gotten out of hand when we heard about it on a popular syndicated morning radio show then got an email from Specialized themselves asking us to please label the joke accordingly so that they could get back to work.

Our staff has fluctuated from fifteen at maximum and shrunk down to four when jobs, school, and other priorities tugged at contributors without relent.One thing that hasnít changed however has been our readership, which continues to grow each month since we were founded.

These days Rob hopes to return to the writing-side of things as often as his busy schedule allots: He is working full time as a chiropractor after many grueling years of school and I still insist that if he ever gets his own practice heís got to name is Thoracic Park.Weíre also pleased to announce the addition of the newest member to our staff, Jason Sta Catalina, who in addition to tearing up the trails in Southern California, happens to program web pages with the best of them. Welcome aboard Jason! As has been par for the course, expect style and navigational upgrades to MBT once Jason sorts through the piles of files weíve dumped upon his desk.

Despite an economy thatís taking its sweet time to rebound, weíve got a crew of eight running things around here (even if here is a relative term) and I would like to take a moment to thank Amanda Brunner, Beth Trickett, Rob Manning, Mike Sullivan, Patty Mooney and CG for their tireless efforts each and every issue.

In order to give these characters a bit of the recognition they deserve, weíve finally gotten with the times and started a Facebook account for the magazine. Keep a lookout there for updates and blurbs not found anywhere else.Who knows, maybe weíll really get with it and sign up for a Twitter account next.

In all, these first five years have certainly been a blast not to mention a learning experience in all of the ups and downs that is the ever-evolving publishing industry.Until youíve screwed around with FTP servers, domain name transfers, search engine optimization, advertising departments and non-English speaking technical support at 3:00 in the morning, youíre simply letting the best in life pass you by.

Now if someone will please pass the eggnog and put another log in the fireplace, hereís to safe and happy holidays to you and yours. Cheers!